Wednesday, August 01, 2018

CHECKMATE: We Now Have a Direct Line From Russia To... The Media

By Jason Beale

Ten days after Democrat contractor Christopher Steele submits the Carter Page section of his dossier to Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS, a WSJ reporter texts Page requesting a comment. That reporter uses the exact wording of the dossier. We're fretting about Facebook ads hoping to influence the election... yet this is a direct line from Russia to the mainstream media.

Look at all the trouble Russia went through to set up, staff, develop, finance, hide, spoof, and disguise their "Troll Farm" operation --- all in the hopes of turning some Facebook heads amidst a million other ads and issues. But with Steele and Fusion GPS, all it takes is a word to a Steele "source"...

...and a week or so later it's being directly disseminated to the most influential segment of US society: the national press. My question: This info was the property of Hillary Clinton and the DNC - did they agree/direct Simpson to seed these rumors into the press, or did Simpson do it himself?

Because that would seem to be of particular relevance amidst these discussions of the moral and legal prospect of soliciting derogatory "dirt" on a political opponent from foreign source, including foreign government sources (according to Steele's sources descriptions).

Imagine if Corey Lewandowski hired a former French spy to set up a rat line dispensing unverified derogatory info on Hillary Clinton from Russian government officials to the press, in near real-time. Imagine the info involved financial and personal kompromat on Bill Clinton's Russian dealings...

...and Hillary's intercepted communications while in Russia. Imagine the FBI met with the French spy and offered him more money in exchange for more info on the "dirt" the Russians had on the Clintons. Imagine the FBI briefed GOP congressional leadership on that dirt, who then...

...privately and publicly put pressure on the FBI to open an investigation. Imagine the FBI took that uncorroborated Russian government-sourced info from the French spy and put it in front of a FISA judge as probable cause to allow FBI to surveil Bill Clinton's communications - past,

present, and future. That would include commo with his wife, a presidential candidate. Imagine a judge agreeing to sign that warrant. Imagine the whole story getting out to the press after Dem congressmen exposed it, and the press wholeheartedly supporting Lewandowski, the...

...former French spy, and the FBI. Imagine press stories like, "The FBI had Good Reason to Tap Clinton's Phones", or "French Spy Information Met Evidentiary Bar for FISA Court", or "Sally Yates on Clinton Compromise - 'You never want a president's spouse to be compromised'".

It's unimaginable, but it happened. The FBI allowed uncorroborated, foreign-sourced derogatory info on a presidential candidate, paid for by his opponent, to be used as credible evidence in a FISA hearing in order to gain access to the communications of a former campaign member.

Almost everyone agrees, at this stage, that the information was unverified and uncorroborated. Comey, Clapper, and Brennan statements claiming "the core allegation - that the Russians were working against Clinton and in favor of Trump" are irrelevant to the central issue:

Was the Steele dossier information alleging Carter Page met with and made inappropriate, transactional agreements with Sechin and Divyekin in return for dirt on Hillary Clinton verified, or not verified, before presenting that information to the court? That's the only question.

Follow Jason Beale at @JABeale.

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